Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Jack Cleveland Montgomery

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Platoon, Company I, 3d Battalion, 180th Infantry,
    45th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 22, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Padiglione, Italy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy. Two hours before daybreak a strong force of enemy infantry established themselves in three echelons at 50 yards, 100 yards, and 300 yards, respectively, in front of the rifle platoons commanded by 1st Lt. Montgomery. The closest position, consisting of four machine guns and one mortar, threatened the immediate security of the platoon position. Seizing an M1 rifle and several hand grenades, 1st Lt. Montgomery crawled up a ditch to within hand-grenade range of the enemy. Then climbing boldly onto a little mound, he fired his rifle and threw his grenades so accurately that he killed eight of the enemy and captured the remaining four. Returning to his platoon, he called for artillery fire on a house, in and around which he suspected that the majority of the enemy had entrenched themselves. Arming himself with a carbine, he proceeded along the shallow ditch, as withering fire from the riflemen and machine gunners in the second position was concentrated on him. He attacked this position with such fury that seven of the enemy surrendered to him, and both machine guns were silenced. Three German dead were found in the vicinity later that morning. First Lt. Montgomery continued boldly toward the house, 300 yards from his platoon position. It was now daylight, and the enemy observation was excellent across the flat open terrain which led to 1st Lt. Montgomery's objective. When the artillery barrage had lifted, 1st Lt. Montgomery ran fearlessly toward the strongly defended position. As the enemy started streaming out of the house, 1st Lt. Montgomery, unafraid of treacherous snipers, exposed himself daringly to assemble the surrendering enemy and send them to the rear. His fearless, aggressive, and intrepid actions that morning accounted for a total of 11 enemy dead, 32 prisoners, and an unknown number of wounded. That night, while aiding an adjacent unit to repulse a counterattack, he was struck by mortar fragments and seriously wounded. The selflessness and courage exhibited by 1st Lt. Montgomery in alone attacking three strong enemy positions inspired his men to a degree beyond estimation.
Medal of Honor Recipient Jack C. Montgomery
Medal of Honor Recipient Jack C. Montgomery
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Sallisaw, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 10, 1945
    The White House (Oval Office), presented by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Born: July 23, 1917, Long, Sequoyah County, OK, United States
  • Died: June 11, 2002, Muskogee, OK, United States
  • Buried: Fort Gibson National Cemetery (MH) (20-963), Fort Gibson, OK, United States
  • Location of Medal: Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK

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